Starting Friday, the 23rd annual Double Decker Arts Festival begins its celebration of local foods, music and arts. As one of Oxford’s biggest events of the year, the event offers Oxford hotels an opportunity to make real money.
One of the newest hotels in town is The Chancellor’s House. This luxury hotel had just opened for the 2017 festival, and business did not go as planned.
“We opened the doors and no one came,” said Clifton Odom, sales and marketing manager for the hotel Clifton Odom. “And that was very discouraging. We felt like we had put together a really beautiful product, something that Oxford wanted. I just don’t know if Oxford was ready.”
But Odom says things are very different this time around.
“I am proud to say that, this year for Double Decker, we are full except for maybe two or three rooms,” Odom said. “(It’s) a huge difference from last year, and I think it’s due in part to our quest to make it more welcoming and not so cold and exclusive.”
Odom said a goal for The Chancellor’s House is to be part of the Double Decker community.
“We’re gonna keep the gates open outside,” Odom said. “We want people to come in and out. Come in your shorts, and bring your kids. We want it to be a really nice stop on the way to the Square.”
Bartender Cory Lambert said Double Decker is always a crazy weekend, and there is much preparation that goes into it.
“Of course, inventory is going to be really important,” Lambert said. “We’ve been going through checking everything from our wells to our top-shelves to make sure we have a surplus of everything we’re going to need.”
Lambert has worked as a bartender at two other places during previous Double Decker festivals, and he is expecting a full house this year.
“From the time you get there to the time you leave, it’s constantly busy,” Lambert said. “But it’s a great thing, great for the business.”
The Chancellor’s House will be open to visitors who are not staying at the hotel as well, and food and beverage will be sold on the patio and inside the dining area.